The Christian Science Monitor

It's a small world after all, say scientists warning of sand scarcity

If you’re looking for a way to express something that’s staggeringly hard to count, you won’t find a more reliable metaphor than grains of sand.

There is indeed quite a bit of it – about 7.5 quintillion grains on Earth’s beaches and deserts, according to one estimate. But if you think that this would be sufficient to supply an ever-expanding global economy with all the concrete, asphalt, glass, and semiconductors it could possibly desire, think again.

Our consumption of sand is outpacing our understanding of the economics and environmental impacts of extracting, transporting, and consuming it,

Sand mafias and vanishing islands A tragedy of the commons

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